Since the late 1970s, polyvinyl chloride pipes have been used in a significant number of new water distribution systems in North America. While premature fracture failures have been reported for (unplasticized) PVC-U pipes worldwide, with good design and installation practice, current performance standards indicate that water utilities should expect a minimum 50-year service life from a PVC pipe, with expert opinion suggesting that 100 years is a conservative estimate for a properly designed and installed pipe. Quantifying the in-service life expectancy for PVC pipes will enable greater confidence in their use and, as a natural outcome, will also influence long-term asset management and replacement planning strategies applied by water utilities. The Awwa Research Foundation and CSIRO funded this study in order to be able to outline an approach to estimating in-service lifetimes for (unplasticised) PVC-U (commonly called PVC), (modified) PVC-M, and (oriented) PVC-O pipes, as well as the influence of manufacturing and installation practices on these lifetimes.
Long-term Performance Prediction for Pvc Pipes
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